- Significant increase in the past 10 years.
- Seven of the top 10 drugs being misused by high-school seniors are legal prescription or over-the-counter medications
Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse depend on the particular drug. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are:
- Opioid painkillers, such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and those containing hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Sedatives and tranquilizers, such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan)
- Stimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin), that are used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep
Other prescription drug abuse symptoms/dangers include:
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- Stealing, forging, ‘losing’ or selling prescriptions. Seeking prescription from more than one doctor.
- Taking higher doses than prescribed
- Excessive mood swings
- Increase or decrease in sleep
- There are serious health risks related to abuse of
prescription drugs. A single large dose of prescription or
over-the-counter painkillers or depressants can cause breathing
difficulty that can lead to death. Stimulant abuse can lead to
hostility or paranoia, or the potential for heart system failure or
fatal seizures. Even in small doses, depressants and painkillers have
subtle effects on motor skills, judgment, and ability to learn.